Day Ten at the World Cup

Argentina-Iran 1-0 : Iran surprisingly held off Argentina until late in the game, when Lionel Messi scored in stoppage time to put Argentina into the round of 16.  Messi scored from distance after his normal cutback to his left foot and a blast past almost all of the Iranian defense.

Germany-Ghana 2-2 : Neither team seemed to have the upper hand in the first half, though Germany kept pretty good control of the ball most of the time.  Goetze broke through for Germany in the 51st minute, slotting it home from the middle of the box with an assist from Thomas Muller.   Andre Ayew tied it up with in the 54th minute with an assist from Harrison Afful.  Ghana took the lead in the 63rd minute with a goal from Asamoah Gyan after a through ball from Sulley Ali Muntari.  Miroslav Klose subbed in at the 69th minute and then scored in the 71st minute with an assist from Benedikt Höwedes following a corner.  Klose then executed the worst flip after a goal yet in this WC (it may have been the only flip so far in this WC, but it was a bad one.)  Klose failed to fully rotate, then fell on his ass awkwardly.  He didn''t appear to be injured.

Nigeria - Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0 : Nigeria was really lucky to come away with all the points from this one, since a Djeko goal was disallowed in the 21st minute for off-sides, whene replays show he was clearly on-side. Also, the Nigerian goal by Peter Odemwingie came from an assist from his teammate Emmanuel Emenike, who moments earlier swam by a Bosnian defender, knocking him to ground with an arm-bar in the process.

Day Nine at the World Cup

Italy-Costa Rica 0-1 : Costa Rica''s Bryan Ruiz provides the shocker to put CR ahead with a header in the 44th minute on a long cross from Junior Diaz.  The Ticos then went on to hold off Italy for the entire second half.

Switzerland-France 2-5 : France scored early and often in this game, starting with two goals in succession in the 16th and 17th minutes.  Olivier Giroud started the scoring with a header just missed by the Swiss goalie.  The play came from a corner kick.  France then quickly took away the ball after the kickoff and brought it right down the field for a shot and goal by Blaise Matuidi from the left hand side of the goal.  France scored again at the 40th minute to put them in a commanding lead going into halftime. Mathieu Valbuena finished with a close range shot into the right upper 90, assisted by Giroud.  In the second half, France brought on the rout with a goal by Karim Benzema in the 67th minute followed by a goal from Moussa Sissoko in the 73rd minute.  Switzerland''s Blerim Dzemaili tried to get some of the missing pride back in the 81st minute on a goal from a free kick, and Granit Xhaka added another Swiss goal as time ran out in the 87th, but it was too little, too late.

Honduras-Ecuador 1-2 : Honduras got on the scoresheet first with a goal from Carlo Costly in the 31st minute, a mid-range shot after a very long through ball from the other end of the field.  Great vision from the Honduran defender. Enner Valencia equalized for Ecuador in the 34th by pouncing on what looked like a shot from his teammate that went wide.  Valencia scored the winner for Ecuador in the 64th minute on a free kick from the left hand side of the box by Walter Ayoví.  Valencia headed it down into the corner at the far post.

Day Eight at the World Cup

Columbia-Ivory Coast 2-1 : Ivory Coast controlled much of the possession, but neither team could make much happen until well into the game.  Columbia finally broke through in the 64th minute with a goal from James Rodriguez, assisted by Juan Guillermo.  Columbia added to the lead in the 70th with a left-footed shot by Juan Quintero, assisted by a through ball from Teófilo Gutiérrez.  Ivory Coast got back in the game with a goal by Gervinho just three minutes later in the 73rd with a right footed shot from the middle of the box into the upper right.  Columbia held on for the win from there.

Uruguay-England 2-1 : England controlled much of the possession in the game but couldn''t score early.   Luis Suarez opened the scoring for Uruguay in the 39th minute with a header looped over Joe Hart''s head after a cross from Edinson Cavani.  Uruguay kept England quiet for another half hour before Wayne Rooney finally scored in the 75th minute to equalize.  Daniel Sturridge and Glen Johnson brought the ball up the right hand side, with Johnson working past the defense to slot in a ground hugger to a wide open Rooney who tapped it in to the left hand side of the goal.  Luis Suarez got his second goal in the 85th minute on a trough ball that left him ahead of the defenders for a one-on-one with Hart.  Suarez smashed it in from a tight angel on the right into the top of the net to finish England''s hopes for this World Cup.

Japan-Greece 0-0 :  The main highlight of the game was the sending off of Greece''s Konstantinos Katsouranis in the 38th minute.  Not a real bad foul, since he won the ball on the tackle, but it was enough for his second yellow card.  Contrast this to the earlier game where Uruaguay was let off on a very clear second yellow that would have left them with 10 men for most of the game, coming before any scoring.  Sometimes refs can be arbitrary.

 

Day Seven at the World Cup

Australia-Netherlands 2-3 : Australia fared better than expected, pretty much taking it to the Dutch for the first 60 minutes of the game.  The Netherlands scored first with a shot by Arjen Robben in the 20th minute, assisted by Daley Blind.   Australia''s Tim Cahill equalized within about a minute, though, on a spectacular one-time volley after a 50 yard pass from Ryan McGowan.  A credible challenge for goal of the tournament to rival Robin van Persie''s first game goal against Spain.  In the 54th minute Holland''s Janmaat conceded a penalty kick on a questionable handball.   The ball hit his trailing hand while his head was turned the other way.  Australia''s Jedinak converted the penalty to put the Aussies ahead 2-1.   Robin van Persie equalized for the Dutch a few minutes later in the 58th minute with a left footed shot for the middle of the box, assisted by Memphis Depay.  Depay then scored himself to put the Netherlands ahead for good 3-2 in the 68th minute.  Depay was assisted by de Guzman.

Spain-Chile 0-2 : While Spain controlled possession a bit more than Chile, that was all they had to offer, as they were seen off from this WC in what can only be seen as a weak effort.   Chile scored twice in the first half, first at the 20th minute with a goal from Eduardo Vargas, assisted by Charles Aranguiz.   Aranguiz then scored the second for Chile in the 43rd minute right after a set piece.

Cameroon-Croatia 0-4 : Cameroon seemed to have plenty of game in the first few minutes, but Croatia broke through to score first in the 11th minute on Ivaca Olic'' goal from a through ball by Ivan Perisic.  Alex Song got the second ridiculous red card of the tournament for trying to elbow a Croatian player, Mario Mandzukic, in the back about 15 feet away from the referee.  Cameroon struggled after that, with only a few chances.   Croatia had plenty of chances, though, and scored on some of them.   In the 48th minute Perisic scored on left-footed shot from a very tight angle. Mario Mandzukic scored in the 61st minute with a header following a corner kick.   Assist to Danijel Pranjic.  Mandzukic closed out the scoring in the 73rd minute with a close range shot in the middle of the goal mouth.

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